Ken sat at the open desk in the bullpen, staring at a piece of Control Spire that Abby had let him take out of the lab. His mind scrambled, trying to figure out how the situation he was in was possible.

I know we destroyed all these damn things. We HAD to! There was no way we were going to risk another disaster like that! Who could be doing this? The only person I can think of that could animate these things was Arukenimon, but MaloMyotismon killed her in front of us. Maybe she was reborn? Maybe she's involved in this? Could she really be holding a grudge for this long?

Or is there someone else out there that figured out how to animate the Spires?

He continued to glare at the rock, a small part of his brain trying to will the object into revealing its secrets. Wormmon chittered lightly on Ken's shoulder, trying his best to keep his Digidestined partner calm. Ken ignored the world around him, glaring steadily at the chunk before him.

He was unaware of the team standing on the far end of the room, doing very little to hide the fact that they were watching him.

"How long's he been like that?" Tony asked, a look of concern on his face.

"I have no idea," Ziva answered, sharing a similar expression. "But that rock has something to do with his mood."

"Yeah," McGee said, "I haven't seen anyone stare at a rock that hard since my mom got me a rock tumbler as a kid."

Tony turned to McGee. "Of course you got a rock tumbler. Only you would think that was something cool to have. Aside from that, shouldn't the good Detective be helping us with this investigation?"

"He has been, Tony," Ziva said.

"Really? Because so far it seems like all he's done for us is bring in a bunch of fake bodies and make us walk through a weird, computer world. Oh, and stare at everything in sight."

"Look, he's going through a rough time right now."

DiNozzo scoffed. "We've all been through rough times."

"Not all of us lost our family all at once."

"That's just it, though. How do we know he did? The bodies downstairs are fake, remember? They could be alive somewhere, happily sipping away at sodas in a hotel far away from him."

"Why sodas?" Ziva asked.

"Because, Ziva, he doesn't drink."

McGee gave Tony an unimpressed look. "And how would you know that?"

"He probably hasn't gotten a good night's sleep since this whole thing started. He's worried, he's scared, he's angry. But has he acted disoriented at all?"

"Tony, we barely know him," McGee said.

"No," Ziva said,"but it isn't very difficult to tell when a person has had anything to drink. No lack of balance, no slurring of his words, and the times that I have been able to look into his eyes, I saw no signs of alcohol use."

"Okay, but that doesn't mean that his wife isn't a drinker."

Tony scoffed. "Please, McGee, you think a cop that doesn't drink is gonna let his wife do it in front of his kids?" He let the group stand in silence for a moment before continuing on. "What do we know about him?"

McGee pulled his phone from his pocket, quickly swiping an app open.

"Well, we know he's Ken Ichijouji, thirty-two, lives in Tokyo, is obviously a detective in the Tokyo police force. Stellar grades in school, top of his class in just about every subject. He's also a two-time intramural judo champion during his time in college."


"Japanese art of self-defense based on channeling your opponent's momentum against them, usually by throwing them." Ziva said.

Tony slowly turned to Ziva. "I know what judo is. What I meant was, I may have figured something out."

"And what exactly would that be?"

Tony smiled. "Maybe a way to get him out of this little funk of his. In the meantime, why don't you guys work on figuring out where the family is?" Without waiting for a response, he walked off in the direction of the detective. Ziva and McGee exchanged worried looks with one another before moving to their own desks. Neither one were ever sure as to what exactly went through DiNozzo's head at the best of times. What they were sure of, was that they probably didn't want any part of what was about to happen.

Ken, during the discussion, had gone from sitting back in his seat to rubbing away at his eyes with his hands.

It's no good. No matter what I come up with, I can't figure out how the Dark Spires are back or who would be using them. There has to be something I'm missing! I don't get it!

"Hey, Detective!"

Tony's voice brought Ken out of this thoughts. He shook his head slightly, trying to clear the spots of color from his vision.

"Yes? Do you need help with something?"

Tony smirked. "No, but I think I can help you."

"And how's that?"

"Well, I'm gonna kinda need you to come with me," Tony said as he started to walk away. "Don't worry, I bet this'll get the ol' blood flowing."

Ken watched confusedly before turning to the other NCIS agents. Ziva just shrugged at him while McGee nodded his head toward the elevators. Ken got up, still not sure about anything, and followed Tony out.

"What do you think he's gonna do?" McGee asked as soon as Ken was out of earshot.

"Well, I know what I would do."

"Oh yeah, and what's that?"

"Slap him."